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There are certain feelings of resentment toward us on this, he said. I dont mean just from stockholders complaining that were giving their money awaythat point of view is losing ground. I mean in the community. You dont actually hear it, but you sometimes get a kind of intuitive feeling that people are saying, Who do these young upstarts think they are, anyhow? I asked whether the letter-writing campaign against the U.N. television series had caused any misgivings or downright faintheartedness within the company, and he said, As an organization, we never wavered. Almost without exception, the people here felt that the attacks only served to call attention to the very point we were trying to makethat world coöperation is our business, because without it there might be no world and therefore no business. We believe we followed sound business policy in going ahead with the series. At the same time, I wont maintain that it was only sound business policy. I doubt whether we would have done it if, lets say, we had all been Birchers ourselves.more...

Quote #2722028
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The Haupt partners could hardly have found the projected agreement pleasant reading, inasmuch as it prescribed, among other things, that they were to execute powers of attorney giving a liquidator full control over Haupts affairs. However, one of their own lawyers gave them a short, pungent talk pointing out that they were personally liable for the firms debts whether or not they signed the agreement, so they might as well be public-spirited and sign it. More briefly, they were over a barrel. (Many of them later filed personal bankruptcy papers.) One startling event broke the even tenor of this gloomy meeting. Shortly after the Haupt lawyer had wound up his disquisition on the facts of life, someone noticed an unfamiliar and strikingly youthful face in the crowd and asked its owner to identify himself. The unhsitating reply was Im Russell Watson, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. There was a short, stunned silence, in recognition of the fact that an untimely leak might still disturb the delicate balance of money and emotion that made up the agreement.more...

Quote #2722027
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The staff of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress wrote in a report issued in 1961, Capital gains treatment has become one of the most impressive loopholes in the federal revenue structure. What the provision says, in essence, is that a taxpayer who makes a capital investment (in real estate, a corporation, a block of stock, or whatever), holds on to it for at least six months, and then sells it at a profit is entitled to be taxed on the profit at a rate much lower than the rate on ordinary income; to be specific, the rate is half of that taxpayers ordinary top tax rate or twenty-five per cent whichever is less. What this means to anyone whose income would normally put him in a very high tax bracket is obvious: he must find a way of getting as much as possible of that income in the form of capital gains. Consequently, the game of finding ways of converting ordinary income into capital gains has become very popular in the past decade or two. The game is often won without much of a struggle.more...

Quote #2722026
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I think Mr. Smith is a sincere man, Vinson testified. I am sure Mr. Smith thought he was telling me that he was going to one of these meetings. This meant nothing to me. Smith, on the other hand, was confident that his meaning had got through to Vinson. I never got the impression that he misunderstood me, he insisted to the Subcommittee. Questioning Vinson later, Kefauver asked whether an executive in his position, with thirty-odd years experience in the electrical industry, could possibly be so naive as to misunderstand a subordinate on such a substantive matter as grasping who the boys were. I dont think it is too naive, replied Vinson. We have a lot of boys.more...

Quote #2722025
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It was the heart of the Old Testament Elamite kingdom and later of the Persian Empire. The ruins of Persepolis are not far away, and those of Susa, where King Darius had his winter palace, are in the very center of Khuzistan. In ancient times, the whole region had an extensive water-conservation systemyou can still find the remains of canals that were probably built by Darius twenty-five hundred years agobut after the decline of the Persian Empire the water system was ruined by invasion and neglect. Lord Curzon described what the Khuzistan uplands looked like a century agoa desert over which the eye may roam unarrested for miles. It was that way when we got there. Nowadays, Khuzistan is one of the worlds richest oil fieldsthe famous Abadan refinery is at its southern tipbut the inhabitants, two and a half million of them, havent benefited from that. The rivers have flowed unused, the fabulously rich soil has lain fallow, and all but a tiny fraction of the people have continued to live in desperate poverty.more...

Quote #2722024
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On that same Monday, it is believed, Saunders telephoned Livermore and asked if he would relent long enough to see the Piggly Wiggly project through by calling for delivery of all the shares that were owed Saunders; in other words, would Livermore please spring the trap? Nothing doing, Livermore is supposed to have replied, evidently considering himself well out of the whole affair. So the following morning, Tuesday, March 20th, Saunders sprang the trap himself. IT turned out to be one of Wall Streets wilder days. Piggly Wiggly opened at 75½, up 5½ from the previous days closing price. An hour after the opening, word arrived that Saunders had called for delivery of all his Piggly Wiggly stock. According to the rules of the Exchange, stock called for under such circumstances had to be produced by two-fifteen the following afternoon. But Piggly Wiggly, as Saunders well knew, simply wasnt to be hadexcept, of course, from him. To be sure, there were a few shares around that were still held by private investors, and frantic short sellers trying to shake them loose bid their price up and up.more...

Quote #2722023
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Funston urged the member firms to take over the entire matter. The firms declined this suggestion with thanks and countered by urging the Stock Exchange to handle it. If we do, Funston said, youll have to repay us the amount we pay out. Out of this not very dignified dialogue emerged an agreement that initially the funds would come out of the Exchanges treasury, with repayment to be apportioned among the member firms later. A three-man committee, headed by Funston, was empowered to conduct negotiations to bring the deal off. The chief parties that needed negotiating with were Haupts creditor banks. Their unanimous consent to the plan was essential, because if even one of them insisted on immediate liquidation of its loans the pot would fall in, as the Exchanges chairman, Henry Wattsa fatherly-looking graduate of Harvard and of Omaha Beach, 1944pungently put it.more...

Quote #2722022
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It Knocks! It Knocks! Do you hear? Do you listen? Do you understand? Do you wait? Do you act now? Has a new Daniel appeared and the lions eat him not? Has a new Joseph come that riddles may be made plain? Has a new Moses been born to a new Promised Land?more...

Quote #2722021
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But the general shape of the picture hoped for by some of those who care most about it is known. The ideal income tax envisioned for the far future by many reformers would be characterized by a short and simple Code with comparatively low rates and with a minimum of exceptions to them. In its main structural features, this ideal tax would bear a marked resemblance to the 1913 income taxthe first ever to be put in effect in the United States in peacetime. So if the unattainable visions of today should eventually materialize, the income tax would be just about back where it started. 4 A Reasonable Amount of Time PRIVATE INFORMATION, whether of distant public events, impending business developments, or even the health of political figures, has always been a valuable commodity to traders in securitiesso valuable that some commentators have suggested that stock exchanges are markets for such information just as much as for stocks. The money value that a market puts on information is often precisely measurable in terms of the change in stock prices that it brings about, and the information is almost as readily convertible into money as any other commodity; indeed, to the extent that it is used for barter between traders, it is a kind of money.more...

Quote #2722020
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Such a sum would make the Continent, collectively, a bigger contributor to the cause than the United Statesa fact that Hayes and Coombs realized might not sit too well with the Continental bankers and their governments. At three oclock, the Open Market Committee held its telephone meetingtwelve men sitting at their desks in six cities, from New York to San Francisco. The members heard Coombs dry, unemotional voice describing the situation and making his recommendation. They were quickly convinced. In no more than fifteen minutes, they had voted unanimously to increase the swap credit to seven hundred and fifty million dollars, on condition that proportional credit assistance could be obtained from other central banks. By late afternoon, tentative word had come from Washington that prospects for the Export-Import Bank loan looked good, and that more definite word could be expected before midnight. So the one billion dollars in United States credits appeared to be virtually in the bag. It remained to tackle the Continent.more...

Quote #2722019
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